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This month


Diamond Masterclass by Shen London, Calcot Manor, Wed 1 Nov

Learn about high-end jewellery design and sourcing rare diamonds at this swish event by diamond gurus Shen London hosted by the impossibly luxurious Calcot Manor. There’s bubbly and lunch and you can bring your own rocks for scrutiny. But I’m thinking new purchases! What with Christmas coming up and diamonds being a girl’s (and woman in her forties’) best friend. And, frankly, Shen’s Goddess Collection, which will be on display in all its glory, has my name on it. You hear that Mr Muddy? £50 per person. Tel: 01666 890391; email:


Coriolanus, Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham, Wed 1 Nov

See the RSC’s production of Shakespeare’s full-throttle war play, his last tragedy, live on screen. Directed by Angus Jackson, it follows fearless soldier but reluctant leader Caius Martius Coriolanus at the inception of Rome.


The Kite Runner, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Wed 1 Nov to Sat 4 Nov

A haunting tale of two childhood friends whose lives are shattered by a terrible incident, this stripped-down stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel left weeping West End audiences in its wake. Bring the tissues and go easy on the mascara.


Stroud Book Festival, various locations, Stroud, Thu 2 to Sun 5 Nov

Yeah, yeah, Cheltenham may be the big cheese around here for literature festivals, but Stroud Book Festival punches well above its weight and is small but perfectly formed. Featuring the best of the best in new writing from brilliant novelists, non-fiction writers and poets to children’s writers and storytellers, there are over 30 events happening all over the town. Some of the highlights include Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee discussing what the state has ever done for you (answers on a postcard please), a sneak preview of poet Adam Horovitz’s new book and food critic Matthew Fort’s culinary travels through Italy.


Relax.create, Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, Thu 2 Nov

Treat yourself to a special day to help you unwind, enjoy fun company, de-stress and learn a new skill all in the beautiful surroundings of the Larmer Tree Gardens. Join Lucy Bennett of Made By Lucy and Josie from Worry Free for a creative wellness retreat and take some time out. Go on, you’re worth it!


Fairview Fireworks Party, Cheltenham Cricket Club, Fri 3 Nov, entry from 5pm

This is a great option if you’ve got young ‘uns who don’t like loud bangs, as there’s an early display at 5.45pm which is ‘quiet’ followed by the main display at 7.30pm which lets rip. There’ll be live music, fairground stalls and an indoor children’s area, as well as food, cask ale and mulled wine to fill your face with. £7.50, accompanying kids go free. Tel: 01242 523364


Bonfire and Fireworks Display, QEII Field, Stow-on-the-Wold, Fri 3 Nov, from 6pm

As well as the pyrotechnics, you can also look forward to a nice fat pig roast bar and funfair rides in one of the Cotswolds prettiest villages. And it’s free!


Lydney Fireworks, Bathurst Park, Whitecross Road, Lydney, Fri 3 Nov, from 7pm

The lovely Victorian Park will host a fab display of fireworks lighting up the Lydney sky with a bonfire that’ll be lit at 7.15pm to stay warm round. £5 adults; £2 children; under 5s free. Tel: 01594 842234


Firework Extravaganza, Cheltenham Racecourse, Sat 4 Nov, doors open 5pm, display starts 7pm

If you’re in the bigger the better camp, then check out this display at Cheltenham Racecourse. Run by Cheltenham Round Table, it’s the the biggest fireworks display in the south west, so expect crowds – and Kids’ TV characters Marshall & Skye from Paw Patrol. There will also be a fairground, hot and cold food, free parking and an undercover viewing area. Proceeds go to local charities: £7 for adults, £5 for children on the door, £19 for a family ticket (two adults, two kids) booked in advance;


Cirencester Fireworks, Victoria Road Playing Fields, Cirencester, Sat 4 Nov, gates open 5pm

Bonfire, tick, fireworks, tick, funfair, tick, live music, tick, face-painting, tick – the market town’s Round Table ticks all the boxes with its annual event. The bonfire will be lit at 6pm by Deirdre the Dragon (who she? you ask. Better go find out) and the fireworks start blasting at 7pm. All proceeds to charity: adults, £7 in advance, £8 on the door; children, students, OAPs, £4 in advance, £5 on the door; family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) £17 in advance, £20 on the door; under 5s free;


Charity Fireworks Display, The Red Lion, Wainlode, near Gloucester, Sat 4 Nov, from 5pm

This lovely riverside pub is hosting its first fireworks display this year and it sounds like a goodie. Overlooking the Severn, you’ll be getting some nice reflections and if it gets chilly or wet you can retreat inside the pub and tuck into some bonfire food. All proceeds to Great Western Air Ambulance; £5 for adults, £3 for children, £15 for a family ticket. Tel: 01452 730935


Dursley Fireworks Display, War Memorial Recreational Ground, Dursley, Sat 4 Nov, from 5pm

You get a swing band with your fireworks here, as well as a barbecue, beer tent and glow stall, which adds up to a good night out in my books! £6 for adults, £5 for children, under threes free. Tel: 01453 547758


Speech House Fireworks, Speech House field, near Coleford, Sat 4 Nov, gates open 5pm

This atmospheric setting is perfect for this family event (no booze please people) where there’ll be a massive bonfire (lit at 6pm) and a fab display of fireworks at 7.30pm. Danter’s Fun Fair will also be there and there’ll be lots to much on. All proceeds to good local causes. £6 for adults, primary school age and younger free.


Bisley Fireworks Display, Bisley, near Stroud, Sat 4 Nov, gates open 5.30pm

The village primary school’s PTA annual spectacular in deepest, darkest Bisley (no light pollution here) is always a fantastic show (often accompanied by Star Wars music) and also delivers on the food and drink front with burgers, chilli con carne, beer and mulled wine. £5 for adults; £3 for children; £15 for a family ticket (2 adults, 3 kids); pre-schoolers free. Tel: 01452 770251


Tewksbury Bonfire & Fireworks Display, Vineyards Playing Fields, Sat 4 Nov, gates open at 6.15pm

Watch the fireworks fly into the air at 7.15pm with the Abbey as a backdrop. This display is one of the most atmospheric in the area.


Fireworks Displays, Kemble Primary School, Sat 4 Nov, times to be confirmed

A super child-friendly setting, alongside the razzle dazzle of fireworks, there’ll also be a mini disco, glow toys, treats to eat and drinks for the grow-ups. Adults, £6 on the gate, £5 in advance; children £4 on the gate, £3 in advance; £14 for a family in advance.


Fancy Dress & Fireworks Party, The Woolpack, Slad, near Stroud, Sat 4 Nov, 8pm-1am

At the David Bowie tribute shindig last year – The Woolpack is a pub that knows how to party!

The valleys’ hippest pub (it was number one in The Times recent Cool Guide to the Cotswolds, don’t you know) is laying on a grown-up fireworks party for big kids with a dress-up theme of whatever takes your fancy, ales on tap (as well as wine, gin, vodka, etc), live music from soul funk band The Ragged Edge and fireworks. Food will be available until 9pm, then the music begins and the fireworks follow at 10pm. Note the 1am finish – pace yourselves people!


The Summer of Love, The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Sat 4 Nov

This nostalgic trip back to 1967’s famous summer of love will get you swaying in your seat as an explosion of flowers, psychedelia, freedom, peace and love and, of course, timeless music entertains you. With original 1960s film footage and a live band, it’ll be California Dreaming all night long.

Still Lifes Michael Martin & Gaynor Dowling, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, until Sun 5 Nov

The sublime sculpture of this local duo who create beautifully textured, hand-carved wooden vessels from their studio in Stroud will take your breath away. And you’ll definitely want to take one home with you, so come after pay day.


The Christmas Fair in the Cotswolds, Daylesford, Kingham, Mon 6 to Wed 8 Nov

Christmas fairs don’t get much more chi-chi than this one at Daylesford, home of all things chic. Who needs Notting Hill, eh? And being Daylesford, there are VIP options which come with gourmet canapés, champagne and complimentary tea, coffee and homemade cakes, with all the money from ticket sales going to the Wellness charity. There’s even a new Seedlings Day Crèche where you can drop your babies and toddlers (4 months to 4 years) and shop unencumbered. And what shopping there is to be had! The whole farm will transform into a pop-up marketplace of over 180 stands, each selling artisan goodies. Clear the credit card, it’s time to reload!


How The Other Half Live, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Mon 6 to Sat 11 Nov

How The Other Half Live Alan Ayckbourne

Coming at you from the West End, this Alan Ayckbourn farce about three couples and a clumsily covered-up affair features an all-star cast, including Robert Daws (The Royal, Outside Edge and Roger Roger) and Caroline Langrishe (Lovejoy, Casualty and Judge John Deed). Culminating in two disastrous dinner parties on successive nights shown at the same time, the play is Ayckbourn at his best turning social graces and personal misunderstanding into at turns heart-wrenching and hilarious drama.


Stick Man, The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Wed 8 Nov

A sweet, award-winning stage version by Scamp Theatre of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s children’s book where a morning jog sees Stick Man becoming ‘fetch’ for a dog, part of a swan’s nest and, ahhh!, thrown on a fire! Will he ever get home to the family tree? A great mid-week treat toddlers. Show times, 1pm and 4.30pm.


Kids Arcade Fashion Pop Up, The Bull Hotel, Fairford, Fri 10 Nov, 1pm-3pm

Can’t find cool kidswear? Then get yourself along to this pop-up shopping event at the very lovely Bull Hotel where Kids Arcade are showcasing a super stylish selection of quality British and European online children’s labels. Shopping is so much more fun when you can touch, feel and size things up, especially when it comes to kids’ clothes when I never know what size to get. There’ll be complimentary champagne and nibbles too, so it’s a win, win afternoon. Email:


November at Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, from Fri 10 Nov

Don’t miss the latest artists showing at Cheltenham’s serene gallery Chapel Arts (it used to be a Baptist Chapel and still has a spiritual vibe). This month you can feast your eyes on the abstract work of Lar Cann inspired by the Cornish landscape, stunning works of New York by Leslie Gerry, as well as pastel works on the mezzanine by Tony Allain, Jeanette Hayes, Jill Jeffrey and Suzanne Jones. thechapelarts.com


War Horse, Bristol Hippodrome, until Sat 11 Nov

After young Albert’s beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped over to France during WW1, he sets off on a dangerous mission to find him and bring him home. Be prepared to shed a tear. You can check out our review herebristol-hippodrome


Quedgeley Fireworks Display, Fishers Meadow, School Lane, Quedgeley, Sat 11 Nov, from 7pm

No worries if you missed all the fireworks action last weekend, there’s still some crackers lighting up the skies on Saturday 11 November in this hamlet outside Gloucester. Prices to be confirmed. Tel: 01452 721552


The Nutcracker, The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Sun 12 Nov

A Christmas season staple, this performance by the Russian National Ballet will transport you to a fairy-tale world where everyone is happy and good triumphs over evil. Not to be missed, especially as it’s the first time the Russian National Ballet has visited The Roses.


Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, London until Sun 12 Nov

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!


The Wipers Times, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Mon 13 to Sat 18 Nov

An amazing, and true, story about a satirical newspaper created by two officers from a bombed-out building in Belgium during the First World War. Stationed in Ypres (pronounced Wipers by British soldiers), two officers discovered a printing press and decided to put together a subversively funny newspaper to lift the spirits of the troops. A West End recruit penned by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, the pair will be at the theatre following the Tuesday evening performance for a Q&A session.


The Roses’ Christmas Market, The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Sat 18 Nov

Following its success last year, this second outing for the theatre’s Christmas market will see loads of lovely stalls selling gifts, local produce and affordable art which will help you nail your Christmas shopping. There’ll be food and drink too, as well as festive carol singing.


Middle Eastern Supper Club, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Fri 24 Nov

Warm up with this Middle Eastern-themed supper club at the lovely Harts Barn Cookery School. Falafels, baba ganoush, flatbreads and roasted red pepper houmous for starts, Turkish spiced chicken, grilled aubergines, couscous and freekeh salad for main, and apricot almond cake and rose Turkish delight for pud. I’m salivating!


Dick Whittington And His Cat, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 24 Nov to Sun 7 Jan, 2018

It’s panto time! And Tweedy the Clown returns to the Everyman stage with his comic-book licks and tricks in this year’s show, Dick Whittington And His Cat, who travels from Gloucester to London in search of his fortune. Expect the usual high jinx and laughs.


Cheltenham Christmas lights switch on, Sat 25 Nov

Who needs Oxford Street when you’ve got Cheltenham’s Christmas lights switch on? I have to say there’s something chic and discreet about the lit-up trees which makes me proud to hail from the Regency town. There’ll be the annual Christmas market to mooch around, too, so it’s the perfect place to get yourself in the mood a month before the big day.


Forest Showcase Christmas Food Festival, Beechenhurst Lodge, Coleford, Sun 26 Nov

This new Christmas food festival offers up a feast of festive treats, handmade gifts and local produce. Chefs will be on hand demonstrating seasonal recipes, there’ll be kids’ activities and loads of goodies to sample including roast chestnuts, mince pies, mulled wine and more.


Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair, Cheltenham Town Hall, Sun 26 Nov

Browse stalls of eclectic, affordable vintage fashion and homeware and even pop into a vintage beauty salon for a victory roll, beehive or pin-curl do at this award-winning fair. From 11am to 4pm, £2.50 on the door, under 12s go free,


Judy Pfaff: Roots Up, Messums Wiltshire, Tisbury, until Sun 26 Nov

Judy Pfaff’s Roots Up exhibition, which also features paintings and drawings by her, is the first one American Pfaff has held in the UK.  There has been two years of preparation for the exhibition, it will take three weeks to install and the installation process is being recorded and documented as it happens.


A Christmas Carol, Berkeley Castle, Berkeley, Wed 29 Nov to Fri 8 Dec

The perfect outing to get you in the mood for Christmas, Dickens’ touching tale of the transformation of Ebeneezer Scrooge through the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future is brought to the stage by Split Second Productions, who are regulars at Gloucestershire’s most historic castle, which is possibly home to a few ghosts itself…


Softer: Jenny Holzer Exhibition at Blenheim Palace, until Sun 31 Dec

dark art gallery installation blue and purple lights two silhouettes of bodies

The fourth artist to to showcase contemporary art at Blenheim Palace (my kids still talk about Ai Wei Wei back in 2015), Holzer will be creating new work directly addressing our military and political history – eeek! For this show she’s developing large-scale light projections that will transform the Formal Gardens after dark in a series of night time public events. Sounds cool right? Plus visitors can also explore more meditative areas featuring examples of Holzer’s best known work.


Cézanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, until Sun 11 Feb 2018

This started just last week, Brings together over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works which have never been on public display in the UK . Over a working life of some forty-five years, Cézanne made almost 1,000 paintings of which around 160 are portraits and this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into this central aspect of his work.


Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions, Ashmolean, Oxford, until Sun 18 Feb

Could have had a catchier title truth be told! But anyhoo, this major exhibition will be the first to look at the art of the five world religions as they spread across continents in the first millennium AD. Blimey! Brand new research from a major project between The Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum and Oxford Uni, with amazing objects created when the iconography of each of the major religions was still being developed.


Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, until Sat 24 Feb 2018

Photo by Paul Stuart (c) RSC

The RSC’s winter production Twelfth Night sees Ade Edmondson, of The Young Ones and Bottom fame, as Olivia – Kara Tointon’s dour steward Malvolio in Shakespeare’s bittersweet comedy. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, who recreated Warwickshire’s Charlecote Park on stage for the RSC’s fabulous Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing, it’s set in Victorian Britain. Also starring Birmingham’s Dinita Gohil as Viola and Michael Cochrane as Sir Andrew Aguecheek. rsc

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